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The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's…
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The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir

by Patricia Harman

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I enjoy these memoirs of midwives. The good ones bring tears to my eyes at every birth. What a miracle! ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Read it in one sitting, which I rarely do with any book these days. Lyrical, realistic, tragic, funny. Simply lovely. ( )
  olevia | Apr 5, 2013 |
Patricia Harman is a Certified Nurse Midwife married to an OB GYN. They've established a practice in which, unfortunately because of the cost of malpractice insurance, they no longer deliver babies. Her husband, Tom, loves surgery. He's a laid back kind of guy, doesn't see the point in worrying about things, and just wants to spend his days in OR. Patricia is just the opposite, she worries about everything, she's kind of the tough guy in the practice and they face all kinds of problems: bad accountants, unexpected debt to the IRS, problems with meeting their payroll, litigious - or just the fear of - litigious patients. In between the accounts of her fears Patricia talks about their hippy days on the commune, the raising of their 3 boys, with all the accompanying problems, and the lives of her patients - one of whom is a FTM transexual., one is abused, there's some devastating results from a deliberately lost condom, an eating disorder, substance abuse, pedophilia, unintended pregnancy. Many scared and happy women. Many ways the pain of childbirth are continued in the pain of motherhood. She describes the care of and crises in the life of her transexual patient the same way she discusses her other patients - talks about her problems, how she relates, how she helps in both a medical and emotional way. I think she shows too much reliance on pharmacology both estrogen and antidepressants, but everything in her practice reads true. Everything in her relationship with her husband reads true too. They're two accomplished, intelligent people with different approaches to life. It's not an easy marriage or an easy practice. She does a great job showing many sides of life and many sides of those sides. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Feb 24, 2012 |
Although the book was good, it was not what I expected...I guess I should have read the dust jacket more carefully! When the title said a midwife's memoir, I expected a bit more of birth. It is more an advanced practice nurse's memoir or a nurse practitioner's memoir. The women and their stories were well told, but the overwhelming tone of the book was sad. ( )
  1crazycatlady | Mar 29, 2009 |
The hardest part about reading this book is that you can't guess what will happen next. From moment to moment you wonder where circumstances will take the patients... the terrified college student whose single bad decision nearly takes her life, the distraught and horrified mother of seven... even the providers themselves. Nobody is immune and at no time does the reader get a moment to sit back and think "Surely the author will make this ok. It seems bad now but it get better, right?..." because she can't. This book is one of the most brutally real and honest stories I have ever read. And I came away from it with a bit more hope about the medical professionals I see, a bit more belief that some of them, maybe many of them, truly care about the people they see everyday. ( )
  SpongeBobFishpants | Nov 22, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807072915, Paperback)

A 2008 Indie Next Pick

Despite nurse-midwife Patsy Harman’s own financial and personal medical trials, including her private battle with uterine cancer, she devotes herself to her patients’ well-being in all aspects of their lives. They, in turn, tell her intimate stories both heartbreaking and uplifting.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:26 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Patricia Harman, a nurse-midwife, manages a women's health clinic with her husband, Tom, an ob-gyn, in West Virginia--a practice where patients open their hearts, where they find care and sometimes refuge. Patsy's memoir juxtaposes the tales of these women with her own story of keeping a small medical practice solvent and coping with personal challenges.… (more)

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Beacon Press

Two editions of this book were published by Beacon Press.

Editions: 0807072893, 0807072915

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